Alaska too impressive to sleep through
WHAT a surprise, actually a shock, that Rosemary McClure [“Alaska: All of It by Bus, or Bust,” July 23] would be so critical of the tour and seemed to have a negative experience. I took the very same tour with Cosmos a few years ago. I, along with all the tourists, had a fantastic time.
One needs to realize that Alaska has few cities and large land expanses between them. McClure (as well as any other traveler) should learn about states and countries they plan to see and study the tour’s itinerary. Then they would know what to expect.
Regarding accommodations in Alaska: They are not four-star hotels but are very clean and comfortable. Sorry to see such a negative article.
THE boredom factor, as depicted so vividly by McClure, brought back memories of my recent bus tour of America via Greyhound’s Discovery Pass ($415 for 15 days). At times it proved boring, but its saving grace was the freedom to disembark at will, savor the experience, then move on.
In short, with careful pre-planning, you are the master of your itinerary.
I very much enjoyed your article on Alaska. Having just returned this month from a similar tour (but apparently a much more rewarding one), it brought back good memories. Just as importantly, it made me realize that the money spent on our Tauck Bridges tour was truly money well spent.
Although you describe your tour company as the “thrifty younger brother,” Tauck would fit into a niche more like the “rich uncle who doesn’t mind splurging once in a while.” My husband and I saved long and hard to make this trip. We took one of our daughters, her husband and two grandchildren. The tour was designed for multi-generation groups -- grandparents, parents and children. Our particular group of 43 ranged in age from 6 to about 80 years old, and none of us was ever bored.
One example of how the company broke up our long drives: Our first day, we drove from Anchorage to the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge in Denali National Park. The drive was broken up by a side trip for a ride on a jet-boat, which gave us a magnificent view of Mt. McKinley and a one-fourth-mile walk back into the woods to see a cabin once used by a trapper.
My husband and I have often wondered if we would be better off going on a less expensive tour and then buying side trips. After reading your article, I truly feel the way we went was the best.